Some thoughts from Favor and Industry West co-founder Anne England.
Walk us through your range of emotions as you've seen what's been going on in the United States over the past two weeks.
I feel like the word that sums it up for me right now is ‘lament.’ I have deep sadness, anger and disbelief as I see what's going on around us. I'm not naive to the systemic racism that has and continues to exist in this country, but to see those who are willing to defend it gives me pause as I consider what I need to do to better stand up for equality.
How does your background as a minister impact your reaction to what you're seeing?
I do indeed have a master’s degree in theology and am an ordained minister. I think my background and faith allow me to be hopeful. That answer might sound trite, but we have the choice to seek justice for everyone. Ambivalence isn’t an option.
How is being a mom of two young children impacting you right now? What message/lessons are you sharing with them?
Oh, goodness. It instills an immense responsibility to teach my girls to treat others the way they want to be treated. That everyone has value and loving others is the way to live your life, it isn't just something we say. But I also want them to keep their eyes open to the fact that everyone isn't being treated equally, and, when they see inequality, to take a stand against it. They're young now, too young to understand all that's going on, but this time is imperative as to what we can do to encourage them to be model humans -- similar to teaching them to look both ways before crossing the street. It's part of growing up.
Why did you decide to make a donation to the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund?
It’s easy to post opinions on social media. Real change comes through action. The work of the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund is “fighting for racial justice ... through litigation, advocacy, and public education.” It was not a hard decision to make a donation to one of the amazing organizations that works every day to make things better.
As a businesswoman and entrepreneur, how do you plan to make sure the issue of race doesn't receive your focus solely when it's in the news?
I think that’s a question for everyone, not just a businesswoman to answer. How do we ALL keep thinking about race and the injustice that is happening in the news today, and move forward? It takes self-evaluation, conversation, and the courage to foster change. At Favor, we are intentional in whom we hire, how we advertise, and are committed to engaging in a larger conversation about creating change in our country.